I was thinking about you today, and I got a little worried. I worry about new moms because well, in case you haven’t noticed, being a new mom is hard.
There are all of these hormones and emotions and sleepless nights and questions and advice flying around, and it can be overwhelming. At least, it was for me when we brought our first son home from the hospital.
And then, sometimes a genuinely well-meaning older mom says something like, “Oh, just you wait, honey! You think you’re busy now. . . ” or maybe, “Enjoy it while it lasts – the time goes so fast!” And they mean it to be encouraging, but maybe you think, “Excuse me, but I feel pretty busy right now” or maybe, “I would enjoy it more if I wasn’t so tired.” At least, I did when I was a new mom. That’s a lot of pressure!
So, in case you’re sitting with your little baby in the quiet of the night, feeling a little detached from the person you were before, I want to tell you:
You are doing a good job. It’s not easy what you’re doing!
You will sleep again, someday. All night, even. It will be awesome.
You will mess up. It will be okay. God knew you weren’t perfect, and He trusted you with that tiny, defenseless baby anyway. He expects you to make mistakes.
It’s alright to call your pediatrician in the middle of the night. Some parents recommend interviewing potential pediatricians; I recommend calling them frantically in the middle of the night and asking them panicked questions. If you’re not comfortable doing that, it’s not the right pediatrician.
Other moms will never judge you as harshly as you judge yourself – even the perfectly-dressed mom at preschool drop-off. Give yourself a break – even if you’re in your slippers.
You will have hard days and hard nights. Those are not the same as bad days and bad nights – they can still be good, they’re just um, harder.
Your baby will probably make you mad or frustrate you at some point. Then you may feel guilty about feeling mad at something so tiny. Then you’ll get over it. It’s a cycle. And it’s understandable – they can be maddening.
No one in the history of the world will ever know as much about your baby as you do. You are the leading expert in this subject. Take comfort in that, no matter what kind of advice you get.
You are mothering. This is it – you’re doing it! Don’t give up now; just keep swimming. Keep pedaling. Keep feeding and patting and changing and worrying.
Also, even if your husband honestly believes that waking up from hearing the baby cry in the night makes him as tired as you are from actually getting up in the night to take care of the crying baby. . . all the moms in the world know he’s not.
Carry on, moms.